It was fight or flight for a group of Kwinana and Wagerup employees during a snake handling course in January.

Each WA Operations Refinery is required to have trained and licensed snake handlers for safely catching and relocating protected dangerous fauna from process areas.
Authorised handlers are listed on each Alcoa site’s Department of Environment and Conservation license to remove and release venemous and non-venemous fauna.

Training was provided by Bob Cooper of Bob Cooper Survival Training and held at the Harry Waring Marsupial Reserve in Wattleup.

Wagerup employee Jesse Puccio pratices picking up a Death Adder while Trainer Bob Cooper and Ron Miles watch on.

He’s a slippery little sucker! Alexis Davie carefully relocates a Dugite called Speedy.

Trainees were required to pass a theory and practical test before being awarded a Department of Environment and Conservation recognised certificate in snake handling. Participants reported that it provided an amazing insight into the behaviour and biology of snakes and snake bite first aid, as well as breaking down the fear factor for participants, to help them control their response in fight or flight siruations.

“The practical component of the training finished with a final task of walking into a room and safely finding and catching four to five venemous snakes hidden somewhere in that room,” said Kwinana Environmental Scientist Alexis Davie.

The group faced their fears and proved their mettle admirably.

“They walked away with great respect and a better understanding of how to approach and safely relocate dangerous fauna” – Will Roche

Kwinana Emergency Response Officer Supervisor Will Roche commented that it was the best training course they had ever attended.

Source: Alcoa

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